High Altitude Society: Casablanca Nights Gala supports Edwards Interfaith Chapel | VailDaily.com

High Altitude Society: Casablanca Nights Gala supports Edwards Interfaith Chapel

Betty Ann Woodland
High Altitude Society

On Aug. 17, the Edwards Interfaith Chapel and Community Center held their annual fundraising gala, this year's event was themed Casablanca Nights.

The room was transformed into a marketplace complete with tapestries, baskets and wares taken straight out of the film "Casablanca."

The evening began with a warm welcome from Bob Egan, Eagle Valley Religious Foundation president, who along with the other Casablanca Nights Gala committee members made the event possible. Then, the crowd was treated to the first of three musical sets featuring arias and beautiful musical pieces for their listening pleasure.

In between musical sets, delicious cuisine — in keeping with the Moroccan theme — was served by an entourage of servers, some wearing the fez, a cylindrical hat made of red kilim fabric.

Chef David Walford, of Sweet Basil Restaurant and Splendido at the Chateau fame, and his team prepared Moroccan dishes including carrot-tahini dip with Egyptian flatbread, roasted chickpeas, chicken tangine with olives and couscous with apricots and, for dessert, date cake with orange blossom syrup, whipped cream and oranges.

Open to All

Recommended Stories For You

Reverend Brooks Keith presented Helen and Bob Howard as the evening's honorees.

"Without early visionary donors like the Howards, the Eagle Valley Religious Foundation would never have been able to purchase the Ruder parcel and construct our beautiful Edwards Interfaith Chapel and Community Center," Father Brooks Keith said. "In a very real sense, Bob and Helen are one of a small group of patriarchs and matriarchs whose wise counsel, encouragement and generosity helped birth this facility."

There is a long list of groups that benefit from the versatile space within the Chapel and Community Center including Stone Creek Charter School, Grief Recovery, Boy Scouts, Bravo! Vail performances and many more.

This is a center with a unique space that is open to all in our community with a mission that says it all: "A place dedicated to worship, to faith formation and development and to community support and outreach."

A special recognition was presented to Karen and Deacon Steve Baird for their leadership and management of the EICCC. A letter from their children was read out loud to the group:

"Our parents have always modeled for us a life of service to the community. They have always given of their time, volunteering for countless youth trips, mission trips, emergency shelters and as counselors. Being an active part of any church or community, that is just what they do."

The EICCC event committee is planning for the next annual "Nights" fundraiser for the summer 2018.

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events including fundraisers for non-profits, local happenings and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at bettyannw6@gmail.com.